We recently interviewed author Stacy Mayer about her new book Promotions Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Executive Suite.
Stacy Mayer is a Certified Executive Coach and Promotion Strategist on a mission to bring more diversity to the leadership table by doubling the number of women promoted to the c-suite each year worldwide. She is the author of the bestselling book “Promotions Made Easy: A Step-by-Step guide to the Executive Suite” and the host of the podcast “Maximize Your Career with Stacy Mayer” where she tackles topics like executive communication, getting more respect in the workplace from challenging bosses and team members, and avoiding the common mistakes that sabotage career advancement. Her dynamic coaching intensive Executive Ahead of Time has helped hundreds of powerhouse corporate women get promoted into executive roles at some of the world’s largest and most prestigious companies. Learn more at stacymayer.com.
Here is what she had to say.
What was the tipping point that inspired you to write this book?
There are two major trends that are impacting corporate women right now: The Great Resignation and an increasing emphasis on diversity in leadership.
According to McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace report, one in three women are downsizing or leaving the workforce entirely. On one hand, the great resignation is opening up opportunities for women to step into higher leadership roles. But on the other hand, the increased work and responsibilities they are experiencing right now are causing them to be more in the weeds than ever before.
While the Great Resignation has opened up new opportunities for women at the top, organizations now also have an increased emphasis on bringing more diversity into leadership. The women I work with are receiving multiple job offers and increased salaries. But they needed the tools to make that happen for themselves.
Promotions Made Easy is THE step-by-step guide to the executive suite that I teach all of my clients. It helps women get out of the weeds and set themselves up for a promotion by learning how to think, communicate, and perform like an executive leader now.
Your company needs you in the C-Suite more than you need them. And once corporate women really understand that, they can take the steps necessary to get themself the recognition they already deserve.
What step in the path “to the Executive Suite” do you think that women, specifically women of color, tend to struggle with?
I often get asked, “What is the one thing I need to do to set myself up for a promotion?” And my answer is always the same. Understand that a promotion is not a reward for your hard work (Chapter 1 in Promotions Made Easy).
But the challenge for under-represented leaders is this: we don’t look, think and act like the rest of the room. So what do under-represented leaders who are otherwise great at their job do? We focus on our work, head down in the hopes that our work will speak for itself.
But it doesn’t. And that becomes increasingly frustrating as we continue to get passed over for promotion opportunities. Now, remember: your organization needs you in those higher level leadership positions AND you deserve the title, pay, and influence that goes along with it.
So here’s what I teach inside my book…
Once you understand that a promotion is not a reward for your hard work, then you have to be willing to Stop Doing What You Are Good At (Chapter 2 of Promotions Made Easy).
We’ve all heard of the glass ceiling, right? That ceiling women must break in order to reach the upper echelons of leadership? But there’s another ceiling you need to break that you probably don’t even know is there. I call it the subject matter expert ceiling, and it’s holding so many women back from senior levels of leadership.
The subject matter expert ceiling is the thing that’s stopping you from having a seat and a voice at the table. It’s caused by relying on your technical expertise rather than your abilities as a corporate badass leader.
So, how do you break through? You stop doing what you’re good at. And the good news is that this happens with your communication to executive leadership instead of time management as you might think. You shift from communicating about your areas of expertise so you can start showing up like an executive leader and having a greater impact today.
How has writing this book inspired change in your own life?
Writing a book is a really big deal. And I am so incredibly proud of everything I have done to get this out into the world. But it’s also been very rewarding to see women apply these tools and have them work for them.
I realize that the work I am doing is bigger than me. It’s taking on a life of its own. Other people are sharing my mission of helping women advance to higher levels of leadership so we can change the way business is run from the c-suite out. There is so much energy behind the need to bring more diversity to the leadership table, and it’s no longer about a great idea I had, but a movement to turn this vision into reality.
Women want to transition away from a world where they are waiting for someone to tap them on the shoulder and tell them when they’re ready for the next level of their career. Now they are taking their next promotion into their own hands. They want the title, they want the pay, they want to have an impact, and they want to have power with people.
Instead of being stuck in the weeds, spending ever increasing hours at the office, and missing time with their loved ones, corporate women want to get clear on their vision for their career and they want to leave a powerful legacy – all while experiencing more ease, more joy, and more fulfillment in their work and lives.
I created Promotions Made Easy to help women do all of the above and more.